Cruise ships are currently prohibited in Spain.


Fernando Simón, director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, has conceded that it is "not feasible" to try and totally prevent travellers who are carriers of coronavirus from entering Spain.

At a press conference on Monday, Simón accepted that there will be "imported cases" of coronavirus. In fact, he observed, "they are already entering". Even with all the control measures, "it is obvious that it will not be possible to detect everyone". This cannot be done in Spain or anywhere else.

The EU decision to open external borders to only fifteen countries is a measure, he believed, that will "greatly reduce" the risk of imported cases in Spain.

He went on to express concern about cruise ships. These are a "worry" because of the potential number of cases if there is an outbreak on a ship; he referred to the example of the Diamond Princess in Japan. Controls of passengers at Spanish ports, he added, should not be very different to those at airports, but the number of passengers disembarking could well make these controls more difficult.

On Saturday, the Spanish government announced a further extension to the prohibition of cruise ships.